Friday, August 27, 2010

27 August 2010 Coventry

Jaguar Heritage Centre, Browns Lane Coventry

Browns Lane Coventry as it was during full production

Browns Lane site now cleared - Jaguar is now owned by Tata Motors of India

1974 E-Type V12 Series 3

Jaguar XKR used by the baddies in the James Bond film, Die Another Day

Some of the Jaguar items for sale at the Heritage Centre

Jaguar XJ220

Jaguar XJ220

Painting of TWR Jaguar XJS as raced at Bathurst I believe

Coventry Cathedral or what's left of it but still a place of worship.

Coventry Cathedral

New Cathedral linked to the old

Read it

Holy Trinity Church in Coventry

Holy Trinity Church interior

Lyn and Lady Godiva

Coventry Police use Vauxhall Astras like the one we have

27 August 2010

Looked like fine weather today as we got up early to get to the Jaguar heritage Centre which was only open between 10am and 1pm (despite what their Internet site said). From Huntingdon to Coventry is about 65 miles travelling down the A14 and hooking up with the M6. Good road all the way and we were there in about an hour.

We arrived at 10am to find a relatively small but well laid out building on the site of the since demolished Jaguar factory which first started producing Jaguar vehicles in 1935.

The centre contained a lot of Jaguar history including cars, paintings, photographs, various engines cut open to see the internals and a nicely presented souvenir/memorablilia shop which sold just about everything the Jag enthusiast could want.

Mick chatted to the lady assistant who said that they had about 130 vehicles altogether but only currently had room for a small number in the showroom. There were plans to expand the facility in the future.

After buying a few presents, including Leapers (those chrome Jaguars commonly seen on Jaguar bonnets) we headed off to check out Coventry City.

Mick was interested in looking at the Coventry Cathedral but when we got there found that it had been burnt out during the war in 1940 and only the outside walls remained. A new Cathedral had been built which was a sort of extension to the burnt out one. It was a very interesting idea with the old flowing into the new.

Right next door to the Cathedral was the Holy Trinity Church which survived the war apart from having all of it's stained glass windows blown out from the blast and fire that destroyed the Cathedral.

The Holy Trinity Church started life in the year 1043 as the Benedictine Cathedral Church of St. Mary, founded by Lady Godiva (yes THAT Lady Godiva). Lady Godiva was married to Leofric, the Earl of Mercia, in what is now the United Kingdom. Around 1057, she and Leofric got in a dispute over the taxes he had levied on the growing city of Coventry, and he challenged her to ride naked through the marketplace, promising to ease the tax burden if she did so. Lady Godiva took the challenge and became a local legend. At least, that's how the story goes, a story that began to circulate a century after her death. In the 17th century, the detail was added that Lady Godiva had instructed the townsfolk to stay indoors during her ride, but that a man named Tom peeked at her anyway, hence the term "peeping tom."

Now you know.

The first reference to the Holy Trinity Church was in the year 1113 and high on the ceiling is a Doom.

A Doom is a painting of the Last Judgment, an event in Christian eschatology (end of the world). Christians believe that Christ judges souls and then sends them to either Heaven or Hell. Many Dooms survive in medieval churches dating from around the 12th to 16th centuries, although they were virtually standard in churches from much earlier than that.

Unfortunately the flash wouldn't highlight it sufficiently to get any detail but for something that is over 600 years old and has been painted over and restored twice the colour is quite amazing.

Three o'clock and time to buy a paper and head to the Premier Inn for some quiet reading. All has gone a bit quiet on the Australian election in the media here whilst Abbott and Gillard try to sell their souls to enable them to form government. It's almost identical to what happened here in the UK a few months back but the Tories here only had to get into bed with one party.

(In case you didn't know the UK Conservative Party was founded in 1834 out of the old Tory Party and it's members are still frequently referred to in the media as "The Tories" today.

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